Ok. For my first SPN post, I’m going to jump right into the deep end and talk about Season 7. I have heard a lot of mixed reactions about it. Some folks think it is the worst season of SPN ever (I’d say that was season 6, but that’s another discussion for another day) and they hated everything about this past season. They hated the fact that Cas was absent for most of it. They hated the MOTW format. They hated the leviathans. They hated that Bobby died (I agree with them about that. Broke my heart). They hated Season 7, Time for a Wedding. Ok, we ALL hated that episode. But you get my point. It was as if Sera Gamble and Co. couldn’t do anything right as far as those folks were concerned. Now, I don’t think their arguments are without merit, but I just don’t tend to agree with them.
Then there were those that really enjoyed the season. They liked the brother dynamic. They liked the leviathans. They liked that Cas was absent for most of the season. They liked the format. I am in the group that really enjoyed season 7. Now, I think there were some things that needed some work, but overall I think it was a solid season. Since I don’t want this post to turn into a thesis, I’ll break it up into two posts. The first will be the things I liked about the season and the second will be what I wasn’t too happy about. Alrighty; let’s talk about what I liked:
1. I really liked the MOTW format. Looking at the season as a whole, I think I enjoyed the standalone episodes more than the mythology heavy episodes. It was the Boys getting back to what they know best. Saving people; hunting things. It was also nice for them to be able to see that they actually made a difference in someone’s life. They have saved the world over and over again. But the problem with saving the world, is that you start looking at the big picture and totally forget about all the individuals you’re saving. So it’s good that they got to go back to that from time to time so they can remember why they make all the sacrifices they make.
2. I also REALLY liked all of Robbie Thompson’s episodes. He’s a new name, but he really seemed to have a solid grasp of the Winchester universe. His episodes had a great mixture of the dark humor that SPN does so well, and the emotional depth that the boys have earned over the years. Also, he really had a solid feel for Dean and Sam’s voices. Dean and Sam have very distinct voices, and at times I felt like it was slightly off. But Thompson really captured them, and the brother banter in his episodes was always great. Thompson also gave us one of the coolest guest stars ever in Felicia Day as Charlie Bradbury. Thompson really seems to understand not just the SPN fandom, but fandoms in general. Someone needs to tie him to a chair in the writer’s room because he’s fantastic! Just as an aside, Robbie Thompson will always have my love and gratitude for giving us Dean Winchester in 1944. Gangster chic has never looked so good. But I digress…
3. Speaking of the Boys, I liked where their relationship was. Yes, there was that brief time in the middle with the drummed up drama of Amy’s death, but for the majority of the season the brothers have been on the same page. It was nice to see them working together for a common goal and not fighting/hiding things from each other. As everyone knows, the core of this show is the relationship between these brothers, and that relationship showed significant growth during this season. They are learning to relate to each other as adults. It’s not easy to navigate the changes that inevitably occur in a sibling relationship, and I’m glad to see some of the character development pay off this season as far as the maturity of the characters. There was also a bit of a shift in the brotherly relationship. I know the Amy killing and fallout was a hotly debated topic, so I tread lightly here. I agreed with Dean killing Amy. She was a monster who had killed 4 people and most likely would’ve killed again if the circumstances were presented again. I do not think Dean was right to lie about it though. He did what he felt he had to do, and he should’ve been upfront with Sam about it. The Mentalists (which split the fandom almost as much as The Girl Next Door) actually did a good job dealing with that while also showcasing the characters’ growth. Sam reacted to Dean’s lie by walking away from Dean and basically being passive aggressive the entire time they were working the case. This is not the first time Sam has done this (Scarecrow, Hunted) but Dean handled it differently this time. In the past, Dean always went after Sam to bring him back. Dean always apologized and took responsibility for the incident (whether he was in the wrong or not). Not this time. Dean did what he felt he had to do, and he un-apologetically stood by his decision. I was proud of him. Sam, who isn’t used to Dean acting that way, was initially taken aback. But Sam was ultimately able to understand where Dean was coming from, and accept that Dean made a judgment call. Loved it.
4. I really liked the way Sam’s crumbling mental stability was handled. Some of my friends in the SPN fandom were very upset that this story wasn’t front and center the entire season, but I think it was. It was like the elephant in the room that everyone was trying to ignore. I mean, let’s be real about this. There’s no way that we could have an entire season with Sam basically being curled up, rocking and crying in a corner because Lucifer is tormenting him to death. That would not have made for good television. Sam handled his hellucinations the way Sam tends to handle everything else. Once he felt like he had a grip on it, he just did what he could to manage it and move forward. I liked that we only got glimpses of him pressing his scar from time to time or mentioning in passing how messed up his melon was. That’s how the Winchesters deal with things. I also liked the resolution to that storyline. Some of my SPN fandom friends didn’t like that either, but honestly it ended the only way it could really. Lucifer wasn’t letting Sam sleep. He wasn’t letting him eat. Sam was going to die. However, since Cas needs to neither eat nor sleep (and it was his fault that Sam was suffering like that anyway) it made perfect sens for him to do what he did. The Born-Again Identity was a very well-written episode and gave each of the characters a moment to shine. Say what you will about Sera Gamble as a showrunner, but she is one heck of a writer.
There were a number of other things I liked about this season (seriously, where are the Emmys for Jensen, Jared, and Jim Beaver? I’m serious people!) but this post is already longer than I initially intended. In my next post I’ll talk about the things I felt didn’t really work. Until then, peace, love, and joy to all! 🙂